Divine Foods Living

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Archive for the category “Breakfast”

Fresh Lemon Vegetable Quiche (Eggless Quiche) Vegan Quiche

eggless quicheWelcome 2013!!! I remember how I was getting excited for 2012 as it would be the growing year for my son. These are the happenings that every parent dreams their baby sitting up, walking, their 1st words… A lot had happened this year, I feel blessed to have new wonderful additions in the family, the new entrants are Neel and Neh and Vid’s little cousin. I’m just as excited for 2013 as I was for this past year. I really am looking forward to a new year, new milestones, and new beginnings 🙂

Quiche (pronounced as keesh) is a classic French dish, has a savory crust and filling made from vegetables and cheese. I learnt the method of making Quiche from a friend Cheryl, our next-door neighbor friend, when we were in Singapore. She was a consultant in a local yoga retreat center. I still remember the time and good talks we had together. In her words, “Practice of feeding other is like practicing yoga outside ourselves. When we serve, we share a generous spirit and a sense of well being as a nourishment, which elevates the mind and feed the body and spirit.”

She used to tell me a lot about French cultures and cuisines. Being a vegetarian, I thought of a creative idea to recreate the Quiche with eggless version while still maintaining the great flavors. With variations on stuffing, I included healthy fats, vegetables, herbs and lemon. At first it looks complicated to make but with a little bit of preparation and planning, its quite convenient to make and pretty adaptable too.

eggless quiche

With all the good fats like olive oil, cottage cheese and cashew cream, which is known for its heart-healthy fats, rich in protein, iron, magnesium; whole grain flour and healthy vegetables and herbs make it a wholesome brunch or a great meal suitable for kids as well. Vitamin C from lemon enhance the absorption of minerals.

The citrus scented filling and crust makes the dish sing with flavor. The mellow flavor of cashews and the sauteed vegs. in the filling imparts its own characters. Feel free to add your favorite veggies or herbs to this recipe.

The crust comes together in mins. and maintains its crispiness even if the filling is on the wet side and I am sure this would work for savory or sweet crusts for tarts and pies as well with no herbs and replacing salt with 2 tbsp sugar and probably olive oil with butter.

eggless quiche

Recipe :- For one 8in. or 9in. tart/pie pan or three 6in. individual tart/pie pans. For Vegan version, substitute cottage cheese with Tofu or just skip cottage cheese and double the quantity of cashew, it tastes equally good.
Ingredients:-

For Crust :-
Whole wheat flour – 2 cups, 250 gm
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 1/4 cup, 60ml
Water, cold – 1/2 cup, 120ml
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Dried Herbs (I used Oregano)  – 1 tsp

For Stuffing :-
Vegetables of your choice like cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, potatoes, capsicum, etc., chopped(I used mix of carrots, kohlrabi, peas and capsicum) – 1.5 cups, 250gm
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Tomatoes, chopped – 1 med.
Garlic, chopped – 5-6 cloves
Green chilli, chopped – 1 no. (optional)
Red chilli flakes – 1 tsp
Dried herbs (I used basil) – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder, freshly crushed – To taste
Salt – To taste

For Topping :-
Cashew – 1/2 cup, 100gm, soak for 4 hrs. and drain water
Cottage cheese(paneer) – 100gm, yield from 1/2 ltr. milk*
Corn flour – 2 tsp
Lime zest – 1 tsp
Orange zest – 1.5 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method:-

Making Crust :-

1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, lemon juice and oil together till the mixture is crumbly. You can use food processor to make dough, it works wonderfully. Now add cold water little at a time till the mixture just comes together and forms a ball. (In place of cold water I used nutritious cold whey which I collected after curdling 1/2 ltr. milk to make cottage cheese* see notes how to make fresh cottage cheese from milk).

2. Next, measure the base and up the sides of your quiche pan. If your pan is 7″ across the bottom and 1 ½” up each side, that’s a total of 10? This means you should roll your crust to about 11″ or 12″ size, which gives you enough extra for crimping the edges. Line the Quiche pan with the rolled disc, remove the excess dough using a rolling pin easily, crimp the edges if you like and refrigerate for 1/2 hr. or till you prepare the stuffing.

Preparing Stuffing:-

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, sauté for a few secs. Add green chillies, kohlrabi, carrots and peas, cook till just tender, 5-6 mins. Now, mix in capsicum, tomatoes, basil and black pepper powder, cook on low for 3-4 mins., mix salt and switch off the flame after 1 min.

2. Preheat oven to 200C/375F. Grind cashews in 3 tbsp of water(or whey) till smooth. Add cottage cheese, corn flour, lemon zest, orange zest, salt and grind again adding 4 tbsp of water(or whey) until completely smooth.

3. Next, take out the quiche crust and prick crust using fork to ensure crispiness of the crust. Blind bake the crust(baking crust with no prepared stuffing) at 200C/375F  for 10 mins. or until just firm and set.

4. Gently mix both the cheese and vegetable mixtures and fill the quiche pan 1/2 cm below the quiche rim. Garnish with capsicum and tomato slices and sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top for color.

5. Bake at 200C/375F for 35-45 mins., until the crust edge is brown and the filling is set. Let the quiche cool for 10 mins. before slicing.

Notes:-

1. Cashews are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalate which hinders the absorption of nutrients. Soaking for at least 4 hrs. reduces its oxalate content.

2. You can replace 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour with oats(roasted and powdered) or barley flour or use combinations of multigrain flours. Temperature and time for bake vary accordingly.

3. *To make fresh cottage cheese (paneer) – Boil 1/2 ltr. milk in a pan, add either curd or vinegar or lime juice to curdle the milk. You may need 2 tsp or more to curdle depending on the quality of the milk.  Once the milk coagulates/curdles completely, turn off the heat, strain the milk using a muslin or a fine strainer and collect the fresh cheese. Don’t discard the left over water, it’s whey and is pure gold, use it in rice, veggies or soup or kneading Chapathi dough. Or like I used in making quiche crust and grinding cheese-cashew mixture.

Linking this to  Pallavi’s Blogoversary Event:
Hearth & Soul Hop 
‘Healthy Food’, ‘Healthy Vegan Fridays’
Breakfast Club

Creamy Curd Rice (Dahi Chawal)

Curd Rice“I’m preparing lunch for us. I know you like carrots a lot. See how fresh and bright they are? I mash yours up. I’ll do that until you get some teeth to chew them up. When you eat carrots, you smile. That’s how I know you like them.”
“See, I came back, I needed that time to get a few things done, now I can be with you again.”
I love having such running conversations with Vid everyday in my home. This has just become our rhythm of talking. Once a relative of mine observed that I talk to Vid as I would like to a friend, rather than ‘baby-talks’. I talk, Vid babbles and I again respond.

When my baby was born, I instinctively knew that this bond is most sacred with unconditional love. As a parent the most important thing I and my husband K could do was to provide security, health, creating a safer and nurturing world for him to live in. I realize that most of the commitments were inspired by something that I myself had experienced or learned from family, memories, friends and from my own life. I trust this will help us grow and co-evolve together.

Vid has become more interactive, speak few simple words and soaking up the environment around him. I replayed the challenges I had in the first year – the sleepless and exhaustive nights, the struggles to adjust new ways, but yet fulfilling, I knew this was the most precious journey in my lifetime that I loved more than anything else, and I’ll cherish it at every turn.

Here I share a recipe for Curd Rice, popularly known as ‘Mosaranna’ in South and ‘Dahi-chawal’ in North. Made with the subtly spiced curd mixed with rice and well seasoned, it creates a rich and zesty combination. I had the good fortune of eating it as “prasada’ (blessed food) in Shiva Temple in Chennai. When I started giving Vid solids, I often fed him curd rice with simple preparations – adding curd to the boiled rice and seasoned with ghee and cumin seeds. Sometimes I would add mango or banana puree to make it sweet. Now I like to make it with more elaborated method. This is my husband K’s one of the favorite rice dishes that I often make in home.

Any rice can be used in making Curd-rice, I like to use half the quantity of brown rice and half the white rice. Brown rice loads up with the goodness of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and what not. Loaded with tangy flavors of curd, pomegranates and spices, the subtle flavor of asafoetida makes the entire dish awesome.

Ingredients:-

Rice, boiled – 3 cups
Curd – 2 cups (for vegan version, use any non-dairy curd)
Salt – To taste
Sugar – 1/2 tbsp(if desired)
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida(Hing) – 1/8 tsp
Split Black Gram Dal (Urad dal) – 2 tsp
Green chillies, chopped – 2 nos.
Ginger, grated – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Pomegranate seeds – 1/4 cup or as desired
Coriander leaves – For garnishing

Method:-

1. Mash the rice and add curd, salt and sugar (if using) and mix well. At this point, if the curd is too sour, add milk to adjust the sourness. Milk helps to reduce the tartness of the curd.
2. Soak split black gram dal in little water for 1 min and then drain.
3. Heat ghee in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, asafoetida and split black gram dal. Sauté till the dal turns light brown.
4. Now add green chilli and ginger, cook on low for a few seconds.
5. Place curry leaves on top of the rice-curd mix and pour the seasoning over it. Cover the bowl for the flavors to infuse.
6. Mix pomegranate seeds and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve at room temperature with simple chutney or pickle or any vegetable side dish as accompaniment.

Tips:-

1. For interesting variations, try different veggies with the rice each time like grated carrots, cucumbers, peas or fruits like grapes, pineapple, mangoes or raisins with cashews roasted in ghee. But just don’t go overboard with them. I like to make this either veggie-combo or fruit-combo.
2. If the curd is not sour as required, keep it out of the fridge for 1 hr.
3. The boiled rice should be cool before adding the curd.

Sending some over to ‘Healthy Vegan Fridays’.

On a cold and frosty morning… Wholesome Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

With all his laughing and giggling, Vid put his hands up while this rhyme is recited. It’s delightful watching him tapping on the rhythm of rhymes.

With the days getting shorter and winter looming here, a warm and nourishing bowl of soup is a great way to drive away the winter chills. Minestrone soup is jam-packed full of veggies goodness and with all those fibers and proteins from the beans it comprises a quite filling and nourishing dish.

Vegetables

Traditionally, Minestrone soup is a thick bean-based soup and is made with varieties of vegetables with the addition of pasta or rice. I decided to use up red double beans for the soup as it was sitting on my shelf for long threatening me to turn rancid. Earthy beans, the generous addition of  fresh herbs imparts a hearty and satisfying depth of flavor to the soup.

Red Beans

It’s a breeze to make as all the stock is added in one go and you don’t need to hovering around the stove. The colors of vegetables made the soup looking attractive and scrumptious. Vid loved the soup but kept the baby corn aside. It felt nice to see him trying to figure out the colors and taste of different vegetables.

You can stock up on produces which are in the season and make most of their nutrition by varying the choices all through the year.

Ingredients:-

Dried beans -1/3 cup, 80 gm
Thyme – 2 sprigs
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Shallots/pearl onions –  8-10 nos.
Green beans, chopped – 1/3 cup or 50 gm
Carrots, chopped – 1/3 cup or 50 gm
Turnips, chopped – 1/4 cup or 40 gm
Cabbage, shredded – 1/3 cup or 60 gm
Babycorn, chopped – 1/3 cup or 50 gm
Celery, chopped – 1/4 cup or 15 gm
Tomatoes, crushed – 1 med.
Oregano, dried – 1/4 tsp
Basil fresh, chopped – 2 tbsp
Black pepper, freshly ground – To taste
Salt (I used sea salt) – To taste
Pasta – 1/4 cup (if desired)

Method :-

1. Soak dried beans in enough water and little vinegar(see notes 2) for 6-8 hrs. or overnight.
2. Drain and discard water from the beans. Now cook beans with 1 cup water, thyme and little salt in a pressure pan till 3 whistles. Let the pan cool.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and shallots. Cook till golden brown.
4. Add in green beans, babycorn, carrots, turnips, cabbage and celery. Stir for a few mins. and add 3 cups water. Let it come to boil. In the meantime, take out beans, thyme and water from the pressure pan and purée.
5. After the soup comes to boil, add in the beans purée and mix well. At this point, add water according to the consistency you like. Cook for 10-15 mins. on low-medium flame stirring occasionally or till the vegetables are tender.
6. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and black pepper powder and let the soup simmer further for 5 mins. on low.
7. Mix pasta in the soup and let it simmer till the pasta is cooked.
8. Switch off the flame, garnish with basil and serve with warm toasted wholewheat bread as an accompaniment.

Notes :-

1. Any dried beans like kidney beans, white beans, lima, etc. can be preferred.
2. While soaking beans, I use vinegar with the water as it reduces the phytic acid content of beans thereby making it more digestible, nutrient-dense and easier for assimilation. In place of vinegar, you can also use yoghurt, whey or lime juice.
3. For the added sourness, you can add vinegar. Adjust the seasonings for the balanced sweet, sour and spicy flavor.
4. I don’t reserve veg. stock/broth nor use veg. cube as I prefer them fresh. But if desired and you have it on-hand , you can use them in place of water.
5. For another version, blend the soup swiftly after the step 6, then add pasta and place the pan back on the stove till pasta is cooked.

Sending some over to Vanesther’s Event the round ups can be found here and Healthy Vegan Fridays

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